Port News readers are big on breaking news, based on our list of the year's top local stories. Crime, court and accident reports, and weather warnings and events, were not only our most-important news articles (and central to our committment to keep you informed), they were our most-read.
Those aside, it was our community heroes, and stories that provided a laugh or inspiration that really had you settling in for a long read in 2022.
Here's our end-of-year Top 10 of your favourites - bearing in mind that those that have been on our site the longest have been read, shared and re-read, multiple times. That's the beauty of digital news.
The story behind Lttle's brand-new waterlogged car (January) It seems fitting that all-round legend Kenny Little should kick-off our list with his re-telling of how his car ended up in Kooloonbung Creek, 50 years ago.
Down to the wire in close Cowper contest: Gillespie retains Lyne (May): The May Federal election proved to be a nailbiter for Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan. The Nationals MP fought off a strong - and expensive - challenge by Teal candidate Caz for Cowper, which resulted in the seat being one of the last declared.
Port Macquarie's Tim van Berkel wins 2022 Ironman Australia as event celebrates 35th anniversay (May). After years settling for a place, Port Macquarie's Tim van Berkel claimed an emotional first-ever hometown Ironman title. The win was particularly sweet given the event was also celebrating its 35th anniversary in Port Macquarie.
What else can you do but laugh at our 'very sad' Christmas tree. (December).You might think this should be at Number 1 but the story about our Christmas Tree "fail" went way beyond the Port News. Commentators globally relished the chance to take a shot at our poor Norfolk Pine. Far from being a disaster, the tree's lacklustre decorations filled our social feeds with memes that provided a much-needed laugh. The tree even attracted visitors in the short-time before council decided to burst its baubles. Will it make our list in 2023?
Wauchope-Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club registers top two finish in North Coast Surfboat Series (March). From barely knowing what surf boat racing was to mixing it with the country's best, the Wauchope-Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club's under-23 men's and women's crews registered consistent success throughout their season.
Stingrays and Dragons captains send rally cry to supporters ahead of Hastings League showdown (September). What better way to send a rally cry to supporters than with a personal video message. The captains of the Laurieton Stingrays and Long Flat Dragons did just that ahead of their Hastings League showdown.
Tests could reveal cause of how three rare whales became beached in Port Macquarie (January).The mystery surrounding the beaching of three rare beaked whales captivated readers. The normally deep ocean mammals were airlifted from Rocky Beach in Port Macquarie in January, with their deaths providing a unique opportunity for marine researchers.
Whats on: things to do and places to go around the Hastings Valley (24/7). With a focus on community and the region's biggest events, our rolling guide to what's on around the Hastings Valley is clearly a fan favourite all year-'round.
Tribute: Jason Bryant loved the coast and his community (January) The sudden death of Jason Bryant shocked not only his family but the police and surf lifesaving community. Tacking Point SLSC president Mick Lang described the 55-year-old as an an extreme waterman and arguably one of the best Inflatable Rescue Boat drivers on the Mid North Coast.
Honourable mention: Our story about Group 3's record-breaking father and son, Chris and Cuban Piper (September), blew our social media posts out of the water in 2022. That alone warrants the penultimate spot on our end-of-year list.
Our most-read story of 2022: Our everything: remembering Matty Adkins, the man behind Lemonade Crew (September). Such was the high regard in which Matty Adkins was held, that news of his death was our most-read story of 2022. When Matty was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2020, his familiy started the Lemonade Crew to raise awareness of the insidious disease. His message was: "when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade".
What better New Year's message could there be.
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